Generalized Anxiety Disorder – What is GAD?
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a mental disorder that makes it difficult for an individual to control feelings of nervousness or fear. It also interferes with their ability to engage in everyday activities.
This type of disorder affects 6.5 to 9.5 percent of adults and children in the United States. There are some signs and symptoms that help determine if someone may have generalized anxiety.
One of the most common symptoms of GAD is excessive worry about a wide variety of activities. This could include the health of family members, finances, household work, or school performance.
If someone is worried about a particular situation and it is causing them to experience symptoms, they should seek professional help. They should also let friends and family know about the worries. This will allow them to lessen their hurt.
In some cases, people with generalized anxiety disorders can develop comorbid symptoms such as depression. A person with these symptoms should consult a physician to rule out the possibility of other types of depression.
Another type of treatment involves exposure therapy. Exposure therapy is a method that involves exposing anxious people or situations to real life. The goal is to identify the patterns of thinking that hold the person back from becoming free from anxiety.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is another effective form of psychotherapy. CBT helps individuals replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
While the etiology of generalized anxiety disorder is unclear, there are many risk factors. Women are more prone to developing the disorder than men. Environmental factors also play a role.